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Freeths LLP

Work 01865 780 1000
Fax 01865 778504
45418 COWLEY

Duncan Crine

Work 01865 781054
Freeths LLP

Work Department

Dispute resolution.


Work Department

Dispute resolution.


Duncan heads up Freeths’ substantial Dispute Resolution Department in Oxford.  With over 25 years’ litigation experience in the areas of commercial litigation, property litigation and professional negligence, he handles complex and high-value disputes and is familiar with High Court and County Court litigation, as well as all forms of ADR including mediation, arbitration and neutral expert evaluation.

Duncan’s personal caseload includes commercial litigation (contract disputes, shareholder/SPA disputes, unfair prejudice/s994 petitions, warranty/covenant claims etc) and professional negligence matters (claims for/against legal, construction and finance professionals and their insurers, and the provision of related insurance policy advice).  His cases have involved company/corporate deals and transactions, property schemes and construction projects, failed investment/tax schemes, loss of chance claims and disputed estates and trusts. Aside from mainstream issues of breach of contract and negligence, Duncan has handled claims involving alleged breach of trust, fiduciary duty, fraud, warranty of authority, identity theft, misfeasance, conversion, IT/IP issues, database infringement and estoppel.   

Duncan’s reported cases include: Halifax v Gould & Swayne [CA 1998] (multiparty managed litigation – shared ownership), Barclays v Savills &others [QB 2012] (lender litigation – featured in Lawyer magazine’s “Top 20 Cases of 2012”), Page v Hewetts & another [ChD 2013] (limitation), Xenakis v Birkett Long [QB 2014] (recoverable loss).

Clients describe Duncan as: “very bright and tactically first-class”, “gives consistently clear advice”, pragmatic, down-to-earth” and “one of the most tenacious litigators around – a formidable opponent".


Qualified 1991. Wansbroughs Willey Hargrave/ Beachcroft Wansbroughs/ Beachcroft LLP (London) 1992-2006 (partner from 2000). Henmans/Henmans Freeth/Freeths LLP 2006-date (partner).


Law Society; Property Litigation Association (PLA), Professional Negligence Lawyers Association (PNLA).


Unviersity of York (BA Hons 2(:1)).


Family, outdoors.

South East: Dispute resolution

Commercial litigation: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40

Within: Commercial litigation: Thames Valley, Berks, Oxon, M4/M40

The 'consistent, reliable' team at Freeths LLP ‘provides high-quality advice, day in, day out’. The team’s experience encompasses multi-party shareholder, IT supplier and professional negligence cases and passing off claims, with industry specialisms including logistics, technology, manufacturing, construction and retail. Clients of the practice include BMW, GEFCO and Annie Sloan. Head of dispute resolution Duncan Crine] ‘is very good at dealing with complex disputes and delivering practical, commercially focused advice, and is very client friendly’, while Clare Bellis ‘is also very client friendly and good at dealing with urgent and complex disputes’. Senior associate Andrew Dashwood-Begg has a ‘keen legal mind and an eye for detail’. Oxford office managing partner Sarah Foster maintains a significant role in the team.

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South East: Finance

Insolvency and corporate recovery

Within: Insolvency and corporate recovery

The insolvency department of Freeths LLP is spread across two offices in the South East. The practice in Milton Keynes often handles asset transactions for distressed businesses in the drinks and hospitality sector, while the Oxford team is best known for its work in the real estate industry, including insolvency proceedings and wrongful trading or misfeasance claims. Practice lead Simon Hobbs acted for Intertain concerning the liquidation of debtor Jongleurs Comedy prior to the client's sale to Stonegate. Dispute resolution leader Duncan Crine is the main contact in Oxford. The department also advises PwC, Quantuma, Ernst & Young and Opus Restructuring.

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South East: Insurance

Professional negligence

Within: Leading individuals

Duncan Crine - Freeths LLP

Within: Professional negligence

Freeths LLP's professional negligence practice is praised for its 'clear understanding of facts and legal issues, sensible legal advice, and well-drafted legal documents'. Practice head Duncan Crine 'clearly knows his stuff in this field; he is attentive to time pressures and deals with matters promptly and effectively'. Crine has more than 25 years' experience handling high-value and complex professional negligence disputes for claimants and defendants, with particular strength in cases where there is a fraud element. He leads a team that includes Sarah Foster, whose track record includes acting for insurers in defending professionals in claims against local authority employees, and Clare Bellis, who handles professional negligence cases alongside her property litigation practice. The team acts for corporates, individuals, insurers and professionals in professional negligence claims and related insurance policy coverage matters.

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